REDEFINING THE INDUSTRY FOR THE NEXT DECADE
Working as an analyst and writer at the Research Board, an IT think tank headquartered in New York, I participated on a year-long project on the future of the IT ecosystem for a group of more than 100 CIOs at various F500 companies. Our clients were interested in understanding the changing landscape of their largest and most operationally important technology suppliers.
I worked with 2 colleagues to conduct primary and secondary research on the tech industry. I helped interview dozens of technology leaders in companies such as Andreessen Horowitz, Apigee, Cisco, EMC, IBM, Factual, Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and AT&T. The output of the research consisted of a +100-page report and conference organized around the topic for our clients and a few technology industry leaders.
Tools & Methods: Interviews, surveys, secondary research, data analysis
Deliverable: Formal report, presentation of content
Team: 2 other researchers
Client: Confidential list of global multinational corporations from various industries
The time was ripe in 2014 to study the changing contours of an IT industry that had undergone, and continues to undergoe, massive changes. While large multinationals had for many years purchased IT services from traditional suppliers like Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Cisco, SAP, Oracle and other technology leaders, a new breed of suppliers such as Amazon, Google, Box, Salesforce now represent an alternative model of low touch, standardized technology services. The choice is more important than ever before; more and more large companies have started to make fundamental changes to their business models to become technologically-enabled on a deeper level.
Every day brings fresh evidence that the IT ecosystem is changing, whether that means the waves of disruption roiling the traditional IT industry or the increasingly broad way that industry is defined as new pathways are tested. As companies look to digitalize their businesses, the definition and scope of that ecosystem evolves. Looking at connected cars as an example, when the car becomes a mobile device connected to the cloud, new business can materialize thanks to new types of IT-enabled services. In this white space, multiple players from different industries see a role to play, which introduces new types of partnerships, competitive dynamics, and channels for how IT-enabled capabilities come to bear. The same scenario is playing itself out in all sorts of emerging digital ecosystems: smart home appliances, digital healthcare, digital marketing and advertising, online payments, smart grid, and many more.
While the exact contents of the report are confidential, these are some of the topics and companies I investigated:
- GE's transition to software
- Netflix's platform
- Connected car ecosystem
- Industrial Internet/Internet of Things
- The post Wintel world
- Economics of cloud computing
More specifically, in my role I was an active team member in every part of the research, data gathering, and presentation of the material. I actively participated in setting the research direction, identified and prepared background material for interviews with tech leaders, wrote chapter drafts for the final report, created graphics and tables, mined and analyzed data in proprietary databases, and read dozens of classic and newer books on the history of the technology industry.